Out of all the holidays, St. Patrick’s Day was the most exciting school-day of elementary school. Sure, wearing green or getting pinched could get pretty old pretty fast, but there was a sense of mischief and possibility no other holiday had. Because every St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns visited our school.

Some classrooms escaped relatively unscathed– rainbows doodled on chalk boards, gold and green glitter sprinkled over the desks, and generous heap of gold coins in the center of the floor. Other rooms became disaster zones. One memorable year, our room was chosen by the little people to wreck entirely. Rather naughty words were written on the chalkboard. The desks and tables were jumbled up and tipped over. The waste baskets contents were strewn around the room with copious amounts of glitter. No gold coins waited for us; no, these leprechauns left their slimy, green footprints everywhere! Our teacher was shocked!

We wavered between glee and outrage.

Our teacher just sat in the corner of the room, staring blankly at the wall. Our class clustered nervously in little groups. How could the leprechauns do this? They were usually full of fun! We usually got gold coins, gold and green beads, and then a party! But our room was a disaster! How could the party happen now? Why would they be so mean to our teacher? One, high strung little girl started to cry.

But it was pretty funny. Words like “poo” and “potty” on our wholesome black board. And paper everywhere! What kid didn’t dream of wrecking a class room like this! A more intrepid boy started shuffling paper around. Another made a paper air-plane. Someone made a paper snowball and hurled it. We begin to laugh and play in the paper. Hadn’t our room been the most destroyed in the whole school? We would would all be famous for the day! I glanced at the teacher’s heaving shoulders and realized it didn’t sound like she was crying.

In fact, her rather theatrical sobs sounded like… laughing? Our teacher was in the corner, laughing harder than any adult had a right to. We calmed down and helped her restore the room to rights.

Picking up the mess revealed a massive pot of gold-colored treats. Everyone had worn green; no one got pinched. And the room-mothers were particularly generous with sugar that it. It was the best St. Patrick’s day ever!

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